Letter written by Corporal Samuel Blomeley, Coldstream Guards, at New Ross, Ireland, to Thomas Ford a Clerk at the Bank of England 2 July 1798
Samuel Blomeley was deployed to Ireland to assist in suppressing the rebellion which had broken out there on 23 May. In this letter he describes his voyage to Ireland, the state of the county, the rebel assault on New Ross on 5 June, and his work subjugating the region in the aftermath of the rebellion. Most notably, he conveys his disparaging impression of the rebels, writing:
'Never did I see people under any military discipline in such a ragged situation the generality of them was without shoes or stockings & scarce any clothing. They seem to be a mob of very desperate people & I am creditably informed their commander, before they were ordered to attack any place, made them intoxicated with spirits; their wicked priests who composed part of their officers made them take whatever oath they please & instilled very licentious notions in them, they then being in liquor was prepared to commit any murder & depredation they should be ordered.'
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National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection